Celestron 11″ RASA First Images

When the new Celestron boxes arrived at HTH we were filled with excitement.  Almost immediately a group of students arranged an outing to SDAA’s Tierra Del Sol site in Eastern San Diego to try out our new equipment.  We paired the C11 RASA tube with a Canon 6D on a CGX mount and fired off a few test images.  At f2.2, we knew we had a light bucket on our hands, but still were blown away by the clarity and amount of light we were able to collect in very short subs (~15s).  This is basically saying that we were capable of capturing awesome photos in relatively short exposures.  Moving forward, this greatly enhances our ability to capture and process multiple space objects in one outing.

astrophotography lagoon nebula trifid nebula
Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae
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Students Capture Amazing GoPro Footage of Earth from a High Altitude Balloon!

A small group of students at High Tech High School in San Diego successfully recovered a high altitude balloon that they launched to an estimated altitude of 90,000 -110,000 ft. The balloon carried a package that included a GoPro camera and a GPS tracker. This Blue Dot Education project was performed as a component of integrated work between the students’ Humanities and Science classes. The above image is a still frame from the GoPro video footage, which can be viewed in our video archives.

The story behind our logo

Our logo is a rendition of the famous Pale Blue Dot image of Earth captured by the Voyager 1 probe as it reached a distance of nearly 6 billion kilometers. In the original image, the three colored lines are bands of scattered light and the Earth is a small tiny dot (less than a pixel) seen within the yellow band. To view our home in such a manner speaks volumes about humanity – who we are, what we can accomplish, and the “folly of human conceits”, as captured by Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot speech.

For us, it is an inspiration to push the boundaries of what we can achieve in education – to keep exploring, discovering, and in turn expanding our perspectives of ourselves. It emphasizes the need for a human-centered, holistic approach to schooling that values an individual’s background and needs. By following this path, our goal is to gain the insights to create a new vision of education that supports students and adults in the 21st century. We understand that in this effort we may take wrong turns and we expect to receive criticism, but this is necessary in order to stay on the frontier of our work and inspire others to join us.